2. Building Information Modeling is the future of our industry.
Zeidler Partnership Architects participates in project delivery with leading building
owners, consultants, and builders who are aware that we can all work better to-
gether using Building Information Modeling [BIM]. BIM is the core software tool
that enables integrated projects by providing the framework for collaboration on
many of the largest new projects in the world.
BIM is a central project database tool that provides valuable information through-
out the entire building process - design, construction document tender, construc-
tion, and building management. This leads to improved quality and better control
of project costs, through design, fabrication, construction, and operation. We are
already seeing these benefits on several of our major new projects – EnCana,
Calgary City Centre, and Minto.
Integrated Project Delivery [IPD] is an increasingly common project delivery ap-
proach that integrates project leaders, business structures, systems and practices
into a collaborative process. IPD participants all contribute their talents and in-
sights to the project in order to collaboratively optimize value to the owner, reduce
waste, and maximize project efficiency throughout the entire building life-cycle.
Integrated projects are remarkable for their exceptionally effective collaboration
among the primary participants - owner, architect, and contractor.
Zeidler believes that working with BIM improves the quality of our work in ways
that provide real benefits for the whole project team. Canadian and American con-
structors, with the same goal of quality-control, have started to use the same pre-
construction data modeling process. They call it “Virtual Design and Construction”,
because they can design and construct a virtual project to discover all its details
before they build the real thing. There is increasing evidence that the architecture,
engineering and construction community is converging on Building Information
Modeling – which is the same as the American Virtual Design and Construction -
because of the common benefits integrated project delivery brings to every mem-
ber of the team.
BIM first starts to add value to our projects with 3-D design visualization. Because
our model is fully 3-D, we can quickly look at virtually any part. While the design
model is still developing, we can permit key people to have read-access to the cur-
rent design, so they can ask timely questions. The constructor may query the BIM
design model remotely over the Internet, or the architect can extract and email a
3-D design to the client for quick feedback.
3. EnCana is one of the tallest and largest projects in Canada.
The scope of this landmark project called for ultra fast-track
documents and a design-assist process.
In comparison with Foster’s DD hand-over, Zeidler’s•
EnCana building information model contributed extremely
detailed plans that show high accuracy in the critical
relationship between the continuously varying structural
Diagrid and the placement of both modular mullions and
ZPA extracted area calculations, BOMA diagrams and•
other customized spreadsheets from the EnCana BIM
model while tracking the current design changes.
The speed and scope of the EnCana project required the•
overlap of building information modelling and traditional
2-D CAD detailing. Below grade, our model enabled us to
handle the as-built conditions that typically flow from the
Going forward, we expect to link our building informa-•
tion model with all engineering systems, most importantly
structural and mechanical. BIM readily provides us
access to link to various processes such as computa-
tional fluid dynamic modelling for air systems and fire &
Ultimately we expect to link BIM and Facilities Manage-•
ment and develop a full life-cycle commitment to our
David Jefferies, Principal
4. In the early pre-construction phase, we can begin to extract quanti-
ties from the model, and count every type of object. For example, how
many interior doors will we have to install or how much will the carpet
cost for the open office area? Intensified planning in the early stages of
the project increases efficiencies and savings during the construction
effort. In addition, our BIM can provide more detailed data to manage
risk, estimate cost, run sun-wind-energy calculations, and evaluate
LEED performance. One key use of BIM in the IPD process is coordi-
nating building systems. For example, virtual clash detection between
steel structure and mechanical ducts avoids the risk of actually con-
structing a costly solution for an interference problem.
Now let us consider how a building project resembles a virtual living
organism. During its development and throughout the project life-cy-
cle, the integrated project team contributes work and materials to the
building, and maintains and operates the building for the benefit of
its inhabitants. One primary rule of BIM is that anyone who requests
data from the model must promptly return their finished data in order
to update the model. For example, a constructor who would request
data to fabricate wall panels, may decide to place 3 panels per bay
instead of two, and then should return the resulting fabrication data to
be checked in order to update the model. Throughout the design and
construction process, each contributor should benefit from a recipro-
cal exchange with the integrated project model. ZPA believes we can
all work together to develop and sustain the BIM.
Many people who own and operate buildings currently use or plan to
use a Facilities Management system. We can actually link your current
FM system into our BIM. Suppose we need to replace a window, a
desk, a pump or a light fixture. Now we have the opportunity to dis-
cover the object in its surroundings. By simply incorporating the ob-
ject’s tag into our BIM, we may link the owner’s Facilities Management
system to our BIM to show the exact location of any object, as built.
By sustaining our BIM database throughout the project life-cycle we
have the opportunity to link all possible as-built data into the project
Our team’s goal is to improve our project’s quality while reducing risks
and contingency costs. Could we sustain BIM throughout the entire
Zeidler Partnership Architects says “Yes, and we invite you to do so
5. In 2002, Minto Midtown was the first large scale
project in our office to use Building Information
Modelling. As we expanded its use through
the design process we discovered many advan-
Project knowledge increased through•
design focused modelling.
Our BIM model provided virtually unlimited•
We improved our design coordination with•
Graphic building information greatly•
enhanced client communication.
Accelerated decision making gave us•
better control of project costs.
The ability to generate sun/shadow studies•
on horizontal and vertical surfaces read-
ily provided key information to both the
municipality and client.
Gerald Stein, Partner
7. The Calgary City Centre project is an example of taking a project from
the earliest design feasibility and massing studies through schematics
and beyond. In particular, BIM provides great flexibility through the early
design investigation processes. This included:
Creating architectural concept studies from hand sketches to•
massing and detail renderings for multiple design concepts.
Multiple massing and feasibility studies using simple block dia-•
grams. Accurate area calculations extracted from these informed
the decision making process.
Development of chosen design options including updated area•
calculations for multiple scenarios.
Phasing plans, and shadow studies for planning permissions.•
By continually keeping our BIM model current, we were able to produce
detailed design studies. For example, our BIM model allowed us to
study how our panel system could generate multiple facade options.
At the same time, we were producing marketing material and tracking
areas resulting from design changes.
BIM provides the consistency of project information throughout the de-
sign study period that allows for more precise area calculations as well
as coordinated plan and section information. Therefore we have better
cost estimating information.
The future will no doubt lead to direct to digital manufacturing informa-
Vaidila Banelis, Partner
8. 315 Queen Street West
Canada M5V 2X2
T 416 596 8300
F 416 596 1408
Link to more BIM information:
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